Posted by: campkehonka | July 24, 2011

“Happy Birthday, Bally!” – Goose Quills, July 24, 1945

Many thanks, Gretchen Hurlburt Thompson, for saving this for all of these years.

As noted in the prior post, during this era of camp, Goose Quills were published weekly while camp was in session. Enjoy.

A Sketch of our Birthday Boy (written by someone who should know)

This is a great day, for it was on this day (not so awfully long ago), that Mr. A. (rumored to stand for Ayerskalfhe) Cooper Ballentine, more commonly known as Bally, was born. One can get some idea of his antiquity by recalling the redundancy he has to dwell on his excursion with George Washington when they crossed the Delaware together.

To say the least, our friend is a walking encyclopedia and dictionary combined. He can explain in detail how a differential compensates for the movement of the driving wheels of a car or he can readily convince the most stubborn disputer that a red-headed woodpecker has black eyes. His vocabulary – estimated at a mere twenty thousand words – includes a few choice pieces. Most prominent and the one Noah Webster has yet to hear about is “difuglty,” whic he admits is nothing but a perversion of “difficulty.” He gleefully refers to anything from a glass of milk to a 4-motored airplane as a recantularparalepiped.

Indeed, it would take years of careful study and suffering to satisfactorily diagnose Bally’s “jokes.” To call them jokes is a compliment of the greatest magnitude. Perhaps it would be better to say “puns.” These so-called puns can be divided into two groups. First are those which the maestro originated on the spur of the moment. These are generally the hardest to bear under. Second comes the group which has been saved through the ages vast – a mossy, moldy collection of rare tid-bits, which I, for one, have heard so many times that I know them as well as I know my A B C’s.

This versatile gentleman has always had one outstanding handicap. It still remains as one of his chief sources of trouble. For it was only a few summers ago that Navy plane landed on the lake in front of camp. They had mistaken our friend’s head for a landing beacon. Campers are curious to know what attracts the mosquitoes to camp. The answer is easy, for where else are they afforded such an appropriate landing field as Bally’s head? The place in mention is soon to be roped off anticipating the coming major league ball game: Mosquitoes vs. Grasshoppers.

Yes, this is a great day. It is the day when we celebrate the birthday of the person who, in spite of his bald head and tall stories, stands as a symbol for the ideals of camping – ideals which have made Kehonka what she is today.


“To Bally On His Birthday”

Though Bally is never erratic,
He sometimes is idiosyncratic,
But nevertheless,
It is easy to guess
That Bally has brains in his attic.

On his Ballytudinous cranium,
You couldn’t even grow a geranium.
How could it take root,
If it sent down a shoot,
In his gray cerebellum terraneum?

His language is supermagnendous,
His puns are superb but horrendous.
He’ll search in his mind,
Certain syllables find,
And come up with a word like gargendous.

Nancy: Happy Birthday from the kitchen!
Miss Ackley: Who’d think that Bally’s older than I? He’s 33 & I’m 25.
Mary-Olive: Happy days and weeks.


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